Amid talks with Meghalaya, Assam has tension on Arunachal border too

Drone survey has revealed Mizoram constructing road in Assam territory, officials say

Assam has moved closer to resolving its decades-old boundary dispute with Meghalaya but tension has been brewing on its Arunachal Pradesh frontier.

Miscreants allegedly fired at Assam forest officials on November 23 in the Ronga Reserve Forest of the State’s Lakhimpur district. The spot is near the Arunachal Pradesh border.

On November 20, a team of Assam Forest officials were detained by allegedly illegal settlers from Arunachal Pradesh in the forest. They were later rescued by the Assam police.

The Lakhimpur district police officials said a joint operation was on with their Arunachal Pradesh counterparts to apprehend the miscreants.

The firing coincided with the visit of the members of the border committees of Assam and Meghalaya to various areas of difference along the inter-State boundary. These areas included Hawla, Lyngkhung, Jimbrigaon, Boklapara and Patgaon villages on the border of Ri-Bhoi (Meghalaya) and Kamrup (Assam) districts.

The Meghalaya committee was led by its Deputy Commissioner Prestone Tynsong and the Assam committee by Information and Water Resources Minister Pijush Hazarika. “We are trying our best to resolve the dispute keeping the convenience of the local people in mind,” the latter said.

There was a mixed response from the locals the committee members met. A majority in some villages wanted to be with Meghalaya while most in some other villages wanted to be with Assam.

Things haven’t been quiet on Assam’s border with Mizoram too.

Forest officials in southern Assam’s Hailakandi district have flagged a 3.5-km road being built by Mizoram inside a reserve forest in Assam despite the Centre’s advisory against construction in disputed areas along the inter-State boundary.

Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6-km border.

Officials in Hailakandi said they used drones and sent surveyors with cameras to collect evidence of the illegal construction. The road work was being guarded by more than 100 people with arms, they said.

A report is being sent to the Assam Government based on the surveys.

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